Sunday, August 11, 2013

Running to Leadville

Week Summary 8/11/2013

Nimbus Walk: 4.3 mi (+68 ft); 14:00 pace
River Flats: 9.0 mi (+47 ft); 9:37 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+446 ft); 9:13 pace
Spooner Short: 7.2 mi (+571 ft); 9:19 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.7 mi (+455 ft); 10:05 pace
Weekly Totals: 31.8 mi (+1,585 ft); 5:22:12 on trail

As I worked on keeping even pacing this week, the Young Mountain Runners/Trail Option team was getting down to business.  Darren returned to racing on Saturday at the Genoa Peak Madathon, a new trail marathon put on by Ascent Runs. Living up to both the name of the event and the name of the promoter, this crazy excellent course culminates in a half-way turn-around at Genoa Peak after a vertical gain of almost 5,000 feet. Desna and I worked the half-way turnaround, and saw Darren come through in 4th place. He would hold that to the finish -- a solid effort with relatively little foundation in his busy year. He's entered in the Headlands 50-Mile on the Pacific Coast on September 14th; looking for a Western States qualifier there.

Speaking of real altitude, Dennis and Mary lined up at the Leadville 10K. The race starts in downtown Leadville at over 10,000 feet in elevation. They run the first and last 3.1 miles of the Leadville 100. They basically head down Broadway, getting in a little dirt before the turnaround. They then turnaround to climb back into town. Dad hit the turn-around in 3rd Place by about 10 seconds in the M70 group, but ran a great return, trading places with David Watson a couple times, to take home the M70 silver medal by 30 seconds (there were five M70 racers in the 10K; two in M80+!). Mom kept to her steady pace to bring home gold in the F70 group. As the oldest woman in the field she has no competition in her age-group, but she finished ahead of 35 other hard-running ladies in a field of 208. Great runs up high, I hope I can keep the Leadville vibe going!

Desna and Strider got into the act with a PR for 20 miles as they look to a 50-mile event in September. It was a test of horse and rider -- if they got in under five hours, we'd enter the Far West event. All systems are go after a 4.5-hour workout in the hills above Washoe Lake. She wrapped the week with a charity ride with Chloe Young and Lassen at Washoe Lake State Park. A good week.

With all this going on around me, I focused on getting my head into Leadville. We drive on Monday evening, dragging the trailer on easy daily drives to arrive at Leadville (camping at Turquoise Lake) on Thursday. My miles/week average is a bit lower than I'd hoped, but I've had some quality runs. For example, I focused on my pacing this week, starting with a brisk walk on Monday and some solid but short runs over varied terrain. The Grand Mesa 50K a couple weeks ago brought it all together. I've also been getting stoked by listening to some great interviews at the Elevation Trail podcast. I highly recommend Tim's chats with Jason Lantz (Winner at Vermont 100) and Jeff Browning (Winner at San Diego 100; and 10 wins across the 15 100-milers he's done).

Footfeathers' Leadville Buckle
My ultimate goal and exuberant challenge at Leadville will be to get the big silver buckle. Yes, finishing in under 25 hours means a 100-mile best on a course that will certainly test all I've got. It means keeping steady and efficient, especially through the night. I only have to better my pace by a minute per mile; much of that can be gained with better use of aid station time. It'll also mean that the many other demons of the ultra are kept at bay.

To that end, I appreciate the time and effort of the Young Mountain Runners, my coach, and my friends on the trail as I head out on this beautifully silly adventure. Whatever the outcome, I'm stoked to run well in the Rockies. Let's do this...



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